Saved by Grace

 www.livingfaithchurchwi.org

We are saved by the mercy and grace of God alone, and not by our own efforts.

Every religion on earth other than Christianity is a religion that places man and his own efforts as the means of salvation, or betterment. All man centered religions rely upon human effort and achievement to obtain salvation, perfection, or betterment.

We are saved by Grace through faith alone. Our good works, and human efforts are to be the evidence of our salvation, not the means of our salvation. If we are relying upon our human goodness to save us, then we have replaced the Savior Jesus Christ with the imagined belief that we can save ourselves through our own efforts.

(Galatians 2:21 NKJV)  “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

The apostle Paul is simply telling us that if we are relying upon the commandments or law to save us then we have set aside the mercy and grace of God. In other words we make it of no effect in our lives. If righteousness (right standing with God) comes through any human goodness that we can somehow manufacture, then there was no need for Christ to die for our sins in the first place.

(Isaiah 64:6 NKJV)  But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Here the Scripture plainly states that any of our human efforts or goodness apart from the prescribed plan of God is as filthy rags in God’s sight. There are so many people who fall into this description, because they refuse to humble themselves, and receive the truth that is found through the sacrifice of Christ. They are attempting to use some form of self manufactured form of righteousness in order to obtain right standing with God, and this is a thing that is deplorable to God.

(Titus 3:5 NKJV)  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

The Tale of Two Sons: Once there were two fathers who each had a son. The first son was a model child, who always excelled in putting others before himself, and doing what was right and good. The second son was just the opposite. It seemed as though he was always in trouble, and was for the most part very self-serving.

While these sons were very opposite, they were still friends, whose fathers enjoyed doing many things together with their boys. One day while the fathers and their sons were swimming at the beach, the second son who was always in trouble began to drown. The first son who was the stronger swimmer came to his immediate rescue, and while he saved the second son from drowning, he was overcome by exhaustion and was drowned himself.

When the second son who was saved reached the shore his father was overjoyed that his son was alive, yet grieved at the loss of his friend’s son. After a few minutes the father of the second son who had been saved, reached in his billfold, pulled out a twenty dollar bill, and handing it to the father whose son had drowned exclaimed, “Please allow me to give you this money in payment for the sacrifice of your son!

You can imagine the indignation of the father whose boy who had been drowned. How could his friend imagine that the selfless sacrifice of his own son be so greatly trivialized as to offer him a meager sum of money as compensation?

Rather than the man’s offer of money bringing joy to the first father, it only added insult to injury. It made the priceless sacrifice of his own son seem cheap, and meaningless, which in turn infuriated the father who had just lost his son.

In like manner, when we attempt to offer our human goodness as a means of our salvation apart from the sacrificial offering of Christ on the cross, we are insulting God. We are like the father who offered the money saying, your Son’s sacrifice was not valuable to me. It was insufficient, and I refuse to receive what He has done in order to save me.

How do we receive the free gift of salvation? All have sinned and are deserving of God’s judgment.

We first of all need to recognize that we have violated God’s holy commandments, and as such are sinful. As sinful people we deserve the judgment of God upon our sins. The consequence for our sin is death, both spiritual and physical.

Physical death is the result of spiritual death. Spiritual death is the result of the nature of sin that entered our being when we sinned against God. If we had never sinned we would never die. Yet that fact remains that we have sinned, and because of our sin we will certainly die. Every person on earth is part of the ultimate statistic. Every single one of us is going to physically die, it’s just a matter of when and how.

(Romans 3:23 NKJV)  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

(Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

God who is rich in mercy sent Christ to take upon himself the punishment we deserved. (Romans 3:23-25 NLT)  For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. {24} Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. {25} For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us…

Because God is love, He does not want to have to judge us for our sin. He desires to show all people His great love and compassion. For this reason He sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our place in judgment, so that whosoever will receive his sacrifice as their own can receive the forgiveness of their sins, and the life of God.

This free gift is not earned by anything we do in our own strength, but is completely dependant upon the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

(Romans 6:23 NKJV)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV)  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, {5} even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Turn from our sin (repentance) and receive the gift of salvation found in Christ.

(Romans 10:13 NKJV) For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”(Romans 10:6-10 NLT)  But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don’t need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). {7} And it says, “You don’t need to go to the place of the dead” (to bring Christ back to life again). {8} Salvation that comes from trusting Christ–which is the message we preach–is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” {9} For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. {10} For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Salvation is as close as calling upon Jesus Christ today for your salvation. It is not accomplished through some formula, but as the result of a repentant heart who is ready and willing to surrender to God, and give him complete control of one’s life.

Give God full control of your life. (Luke 9:57-62 NLT)  As they were walking along someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you no matter where you go.” {58} But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head.” {59} He said to another person, “Come, be my disciple.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” {60} Jesus replied, “Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God.” {61} Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” {62} But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

(Luke 14:26-35 NLT) “If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. {27} And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me. {28} “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills? {29} Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of funds. And then how everyone would laugh at you! {30} They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and ran out of money before it was finished!’ {31} “Or what king would ever dream of going to war without first sitting down with his counselors and discussing whether his army of ten thousand is strong enough to defeat the twenty thousand soldiers who are marching against him? {32} If he is not able, then while the enemy is still far away, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace. {33} So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me. {34} “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? {35} Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for fertilizer. It is thrown away. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!”

 

 

 

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